Kiss of Deception: Review


The first book of The Remnant Chronicles, Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson, was met with rave reviews when it was first released in 2014. I remembered skimming the novel and then setting it aside, since there were two more books to be had that wouldn't be released for another year or so. Well, now they're all published and I thought I'd give the series another go! Like movies, I think the first installment speaks volumes about the series and is meant to set the pace for later books. So what I'll be doing for The Remnant Chronicles is review the first book, and then the entire series when I've finished all three. Keep reading for my spoiler-free thoughts on Kiss of Deception and why I think it's a promising and fresh start to the series!

Goodreads summary:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day. She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection. She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father. She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

I should point out that this entire story is told from a first person point of view- mostly Lia's, but not always. I always think that this is tricky to pull off, especially when the author wants to put the reader in the mindset of multiple narrators throughout the story. But, Pearson accomplishes this beautifully, giving each of her characters clear desires, motivations, fears, and strengths.

As the summary says, Lia encounters two strangers who become inextricably entwined in her life. I think it's safe to say that these two men play very important parts in this book, and are the ones who maintain these secrets that catch Lia unawares. Who exactly are these men? Once you think you know who one of them is, something else might happen to make you question yourself. Pearson does a fantastic job of leaving little clues throughout the book to help yo along, but nothing too obvious or archetypical.

The stream of consciousness that we read the text in is extremely believable. It's concise with just enough details that you might pick up if you were placed in the scene- but not too much information to make the narrator seem omnipotent. There's always a layer of mystery, since Lia doesn't know everything, and that's a thrilling mechanism to keep me, as a reader fully immersed. Our purview and theories are limited to what Lia sees and describes, and just like this princess who throws herself into situations she's never been in before, we, too, are uncomfortable in not being able to get a 360-degree grasp on the entire situation.

The one thing I wasn't crazy about was the prologue to each chapter. There is a poem or verse at the start to many chapters, and they just weren't that compelling. There was nothing happening in the story to indicate that these verses held any correlation, and the secrets that they held don't come together soon enough to add anything to the story. There was, literally, no rhyme or reason to them.

But, since they're just brief verses sprinkled throughout the book, I can easily forgive them, as long as they set Lia up for something greater in the next two books in the series. Those two mysterious men? I am smitten with them and the way Lia steps up to each challenge that she's faced with, and I can't wait to read more!

That's why I rate Kiss of Deception 4/5 stars!

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